Philip Hammond to meet exporters to discuss preparations for Brexit


Some of Britain's major importers and exporters will meet Chancellor Philip Hammond for talks just days after his Cabinet colleague Liam Fox delivered an outspoken attack on British business culture.

The event with the Chancellor is the latest in a series of meetings between Mr Hammond and leading figures from industry as the country prepares for Brexit.

The gathering comes after International Trade Secretary Dr Fox was criticised by business groups after suggesting that some executives were more interested in playing golf than working to boost exports.

Mr Hammond announced his programme of meetings with business sectors last week and has already met City leaders to discuss their views on Brexit.

The meetings, which will continue in the run-up to the Autumn Statement on November 23, are aimed at ensuring continued investment "throughout this period of uncertainty" ahead of the UK formally leaving the European Union.

"That means listening to businesses and organisations who represent working people all over the country, and taking the necessary steps to maintain economic stability," he said.

The meeting with exporters follows Dr Fox's complaint that British firms were failing in their "duty" to sell overseas.

In his unguarded comments at a reception for the Thatcherite Conservative Way Forward group, Dr Fox said: "We've got to change the culture in our country.

"People have got to stop thinking about exporting as an opportunity and start thinking about it as a duty - companies who could be contributing to our national prosperity but choose not to because it might be too difficult or too time-consuming or because they can't play golf on a Friday afternoon."

At the drinks reception, reported by The Times, Dr Fox said: "This country is not the free-trading nation that it once was. We have become too lazy, and too fat on our successes in previous generations."